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NSW to pilot digital tech institute with Microsoft

Australia continues to invest in initiatives that aim to counteract its skill shortage

Microsoft, the University of Technology Sydney and Macquarie University will join forces with TAFE NSW, the leading provider of vocational education and training in Australia, to pilot a new digital technology institute.

The new centre will be named the Institute of Applied Technology (IAT) for Digital Technology and is due to open in August 2022. It is under construction as part of the $154 million Meadowbank Education Precinct, where the current TAFE NSW Meadowbank hub is being transformed into a technology-focused campus.

The partnership will see students merge knowledge gained through university study with hands-on technical skills acquired through vocational education, all in one model. The IAT will also deliver new ICT traineeships, which will develop and support budding IT professionals through the creation of training and employment opportunities in NSW public sector agencies.

Students who study at the IAT for Digital Technology can gain credentials at all academic levels of study they undertake, including a certificate, a diploma, or a bachelor’s degree.

It will play a critical role in developing a strong and robust technology workforce in NSW and addressing industry-wide skills shortages, said minister for Skills and Tertiary Education Geoff Lee.

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“The IAT for Digital Technology will first focus on the three signature disciplines of big data, cybersecurity, and artificial intelligence, ensuring the next generation of IT professionals can rise to the tech industry’s rapidly changing needs,” added Lee.

This comes after the Australian government announced this week it is investing $10 million in a data tool to address the country’s skill shortage. The money is going to develop an integrated data tool that is set to deliver a comprehensive, near real-time view of Australia’s workforce, skill, and labour market. 

At the end of June, the government also invested $8 million in new projects to improve the skills and availability of cyber security professionals in the country. The projects aim to introduce students to training and career pathways and create job-ready professionals through industry traineeships and work experience programmes.

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